Major update on the Shane Pinto situation from NHL insider Elliotte Friedman
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Major update on the Shane Pinto situation from NHL insider Elliotte Friedman

Whoa! Now suddenly it all makes sense.



In case you missed it earlier today, Ottawa Senators forward Shane Pinto has been suspended 41 games by the NHL for sports gambling.

Pinto has released a statement through the team shortly after and it's been reported that Pinto will NOT appeal the suspension.

It's also been reported that Pinto will NOT appeal the NHL's decision and will serve the full 41 game suspension.

Sens insider Bruce Garrioch reports that the NHL became aware of a possible issue with Pinto when one of its "partners in the gambling world" tipped them off Pinto had been allegedly using their service this past offseason.

While that's not a violation of the NHL's CBA in itself, Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman reports that there were some inconsistencies on Pinto's account and that it's suspected he was "proxy betting" on the platform.

More from Friedman:

According to multiple sources, one of the major issues leading to Pinto’s penalty was along the lines of “proxy betting,” where another individual or individuals have access to a legal account in his name. Companies like FanDuel specifically ban this practice. The state of New Jersey fined DraftKings $150,000 in March 2022 for allowing large (and illegal) proxy bets.

It’s not uncommon for pro athletes to have legal accounts, which are heavily monitored by the online site they sign up with. It’s in these companies' best interests to know if the players are in any way compromised. What could have complicated Pinto’s situation is where his account is based. He’s from New York State, and, for example, if a friend placed bets on a day the Senators were in Ottawa, it would be easily discoverable.

It also opens another concern: What if a friend places a bet on hockey using Pinto’s account? That would be a major, major problem and he’d need to prove it wasn’t him. There’s a lot we don’t know yet, but the league clearly was concerned with what it found. The NHLPA agreeing to and negotiating this kind of harsh suspension is a tell that no one liked what was discovered in the league’s investigation.

- Elliotte Friedman

Read below for our earlier report on this developing story.

This just in, unsigned Ottawa Senators restricted free agent Shane Pinto has reportedly been suspended by the NHL for what some insiders are characterizing as "sports betting related activity."

Senators insider Bruce Garrioch reports that the suspension could be as much as 41 games.

From Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman:

The NHL will suspend unsigned Ottawa Senators centre Shane Pinto 41 games on Wednesday for violating league gambling rules, multiple sources told Sportsnet.

Critically, the league did not accuse of Pinto of wagering on NHL games, as a memo sent in March 2022 reminded all league and club personnel — including players — that wagering on any NHL game, even where legal, is “absolutely prohibited,” and will “constitute conduct that is dishonourable, prejudicial to, or against the welfare of the League or the game of hockey” under the NHL’s constitution.

The memo added that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is authorized to “discipline individuals determined to have engaged in improper gambling activities in any or all of the following respects:” expulsion or suspension a definite or indefinite period; cancelling any contract that such individual may have; and/or by imposing a fine. “The League will act swiftly and aggressively in penalizing any League or Club personnel determined to have engaged in acts in violation of the NHL Gambling Policy,” the policy states.

The exact timeline is unclear at this point, but it’s believed the investigation — which began sometime during the summer — intensified over the past few weeks. All negotiations to sign him were paused as the NHL conducted a recent hearing into the matter.

- Elliotte Friedman

Additionally, TSN insider Darren Dreger reports that the Senators have revoked all of their previous contract offers to Pinto's camp. He is still eligible to sign his $850,000 qualifying offer though and, in fact, may need to do so in order to fulfill his suspension... or does he?

Interestingly enough, Friedman now reports that the suspension actually started with the Senators' first game of the season and that Pinto does not need to have a contract to fulfill the NHL's suspsension.

To me, that's not a suspension at all. This changes literally nothing. 

It really seems more and more that the NHL is just making things up day to day. What a joke of a league.

Stay tuned, more to come on this developing story.

Source: Elliotte Friedman